Issues with No2 and No3 levels.

Byron

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Live plants, especially fast growing (and floating plants are good for this) would help. Duckweed is better than nothing, but more substantial lants would do more, such as Water Sprite, Water Lettuce, Frogbit, the stem plant Pennywort left floating is also good.

I don't understand the nitrite, if the nitrite really was a s high as the test showed, the fish would be dead. Something is going on here, I was hoping other members would be able to advise just what.

As for the ionized water or not, what fish are in this tank?
 
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Goose3080

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Live plants, especially fast growing (and floating plants are good for this) would help. Duckweed is better than nothing, but more substantial lants would do more, such as Water Sprite, Water Lettuce, Frogbit, the stem plant Pennywort left floating is also good.

I don't understand the nitrite, if the nitrite really was a s high as the test showed, the fish would be dead. Something is going on here, I was hoping other members would be able to advise just what.

As for the ionized water or not, what fish are in this tank?
6 neon tetra's, 5 lightening tetra's, 5 guppies, 2 weather loach and 2 African black dwarf frogs, 4 tiger fish, and a pleck in there somewhere, they are all very small fish, im only feeding them every other day at the moment, its possible I was feeding them too much in the begining.

The plant route is my next route to get the nitrates down, ive ordered 2 hornwort plants which should arrive on Friday as @Essjay recommended.

But yes, ive been stressing over these levels for the last couple of months, the tank has been running for about 5 months now, and in the beginning I did lose 5 fish a few weeks in which were 4 neon tetra's and a rainbow shark, thats what drew my attention to the high levels in the first place, as prior to the liquid test kit that im using now, I was just using test strips, the water itself looks crystal clear, the invisible killer I guess, I was expecting more fish to die too, but they seem to be pulling though, some of them lost their colour a bit, but that slowly also seems to be coming back.

You can just about see the tiger at the front is looking a bit pale in the picture below.

Forgive the plants at the back, the loaches are little buggers for digging in the substrate, then all the plants start falling over lol
 

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Byron

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It probably doesn't need saying, but do not consider getting any more fish until this is sorted out. There are issues with the fish you have, but that can wait until the nitrite issue is resolved.

Substrate=rooted plants will not likely fare well here with the loaches. Get floating plants, those I mentioned earlier and/or Essjay's suggestion.
 

Essjay

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I mentioned that hornwort can be used as a floating plant - @Goose3080 is that what you intend? You could also cut the stems into smaller pieces, plant some and leave some floating. When I had hornwort it grew like mad, so much so that it was tangling with the other plants which is why I decided it had to go. The planted stems soon reached the surface then grew along the surface and knotted themselves together.
 

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I agree with Byron, if the nitrite reading really is that high all the fish should be dead. So either you you are doing the test wrong or it's a faulty tester.

Just to eliminate one possibility, can I check with you how you are doing the test? The instructions say to put 5 ml water in the tube then add 5 drops from the NO2 bottle. Then shake the tube, wait for 2 minutes and compare the colour to the chart.
Are you using exactly 5 ml water then adding 5 drops? Are you 100% sure it's the NO2 bottle? Are you shaking the tube after adding the drops? Are you looking at the colour after exactly 2 minutes?
 
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Goose3080

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It probably doesn't need saying, but do not consider getting any more fish until this is sorted out. There are issues with the fish you have, but that can wait until the nitrite issue is resolved.

Substrate=rooted plants will not likely fare well here with the loaches. Get floating plants, those I mentioned earlier and/or Essjay's suggestion.
Thanks, Ive got all the fish I want, never had any intentions of adding anymore, Im just trying to keep them alive.

below is a picture of the tests ive just run on my tap water with aqua safe in it, its in a 25litre bottle with a heater in it warming up for the past few hours at the moment, I just took a little bit out to run these tests below.

Ive put the tubes on there relevant colour results
 

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Goose3080

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I agree with Byron, if the nitrite reading really is that high all the fish should be dead. So either you you are doing the test wrong or it's a faulty tester.

Just to eliminate one possibility, can I check with you how you are doing the test? The instructions say to put 5 ml water in the tube then add 5 drops from the NO2 bottle. Then shake the tube, wait for 2 minutes and compare the colour to the chart.
Are you using exactly 5 ml water then adding 5 drops? Are you 100% sure it's the NO2 bottle? Are you shaking the tube after adding the drops? Are you looking at the colour after exactly 2 minutes?
Yup, excatly as the instructions say, the kits comes with a 5ml syringe, set a timer on alexa the second I start shaking the bottle.
 

Essjay

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I didn't really think you were doing the test wrong, but it's always best to eliminate possibilities :)

One thing you could try is taking a sample of your tank water to a fish store and asking them to test it. If their result is different it could well be you have a faulty tester. Though your tap water does show zero nitrite :unsure:
 
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Goose3080

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I didn't really think you were doing the test wrong, but it's always best to eliminate possibilities :)

One thing you could try is taking a sample of your tank water to a fish store and asking them to test it. If their result is different it could well be you have a faulty tester. Though your tap water does show zero nitrite :unsure:
Yes, it is zero nitrite, which is why im doing a 30-35% water change every day, trying to get those suckers diluted down to nothing, even if ive got to do 20 water changes, I just dont want it coming back so quickly though and trying to find other methods of eliminating nitrate etc like plants etc, I cant do 20 water changes every week lol.

The nitrites are starting to come down in the tank, the last picture I took on page 1, thats was after the 2nd water change earlier today using treated tap water, I think another 2 or 3 and i'll have them in the safe zone.
 

Byron

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I am getting confused here, others may be as well. Just which water is in the tank, tap water or deionized? If both, what is the mix.

"Treated tap water." what exactly is being added to the water?
 
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Goose3080

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I am getting confused here, others may be as well. Just which water is in the tank, tap water or deionized? If both, what is the mix.

"Treated tap water." what exactly is being added to the water?
Sorry, the story starts my first tank 5 or 6 months ago was a 60 litre tank, it was made up with tap water treated with aqua safe, not long after the setup we were having an NO2 and NO3 issues with that tank too, I wanted a bigger tank, so we brought my current 105 litre tank, we filled it with 75 litres of deionised water, heated it up overnight and transferred the fish to it the following morning along with 25 litres of the water out of the 60 litre tank to the new 105 litre tank (we wanted some established water so to speak in the new 105 litre tank), also transferred the filter, ornaments and plants, the Sand was new and washed toughly.

Tests were coming back fine in the beginning, but it wasnt long before we were having major spikes in NO2 and NO3 in the 105 litre tank, I tried all sorts of chemicals to try and fix it, these included Tretra Nitrate Minus, Easy Balance, Safe Start, UV lamps etc, nothing seemed to be working, this brings us up to the current day when I posted this thread and spoke to a pet shop who told me to stop using deionised and go back to using Aqua Safe treated tap water which is where im at right now, this is bringing nitrites down slowly, and nitrates very slowly, im going to add some water lettuce to the tank to help with the nitrates and keep a close eye on things now.

I just dont know what is causing these spikes so quickly, its like one week its fine, the next week its off the scales......really.....that quickly ??? I just as confused as the fish :fish:

Im really going to confuse you now and throw a spanner in the works, yesterday I filled my 25 litre bottle up with tap water from the kitchen sink, and added the required amount of aquasafe to it, heated it up last night, tested it this morning, the NO2 was zero, the NO3 was up to about 20 ppm...........
Today after doing the water change, ive done exactly the same thing again, but this time I used the bath tap to fill the bottle up, theres still zero NO2, but NO3 is a hell of a lot lower compared to using the kitchen sink tap, maybe theres a problem with the pipes :devil:

Im using 2 different bottles by the way, one for waste water and one for the clean water and a cat 😻 you can see the colour difference between the water in the 2 bottles though, clean vs waste

The 2nd picture is how much water is getting changed in the tank each time I change it.
 

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Goose3080

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Just a quick update, I finally got on top of this, I was probably doing 30% water changes each time 5 times a week, I was advised to stop using DI / RO water as it doesnt contain any KH, so I went back to tap water, but this time I used API Water conditioner instead of Tetra Aquasafe, the API needed a lot less per dose and seemed to be doing a better job, (1ml per 30 litres of water instead of 12ml per 30 Litres of water). this was getting the levels down a bit but they seemed to hit a wall and not come down any further,
I went to another pet shop to buy some live plants and spoke to a guy there who was really helpful, seemed to know exactly what he was talking about, he advised I didnt get any live plants except floaters, I had already ordered some dwarf water lettuce, not sure if thats why my nitrates are coming down, I do hope so, but also advised I use Pure aquarium balls, they were expensive, but threw 10 in the tank as soon as I got home, tomorrow would be the 3rd week of dosing with these, my plan is to finish the course of 50 balls, not sure if its something I need to continue using or if I can stop using them now and go back to them if I get spikes again, my nitrite levels are nearly at zero.

So thank you guys for all your help with this.

Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0.25ppm
Nitrate = 5-10ppm
PH - 7
KH = 5
GH = 11
 
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Essjay

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Aquatic plants don't take up nitrate, they take up ammonia and only turn to nitrate if there's no ammonia. But when they take up ammonia they turn it into protein so no nitrate is made in the tank. If nitrate is low from the tap, plants help keep it low. Plants don't make nitrite either, so they also help keep nitrite at zero.
Floating plants are particularly good at removing ammonia as they are near the tank lights and can get CO2 from the air so they can process a lot of ammonia quickly. Second best are fast growing stem plants.
 

Essjay

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Following on from your plant buying in another thread, I have a few websites for you.

Tropica is a useful site for research as they classify their plants as easy, medium and advanced

Aquafleur is also useful for research, but you have to download the pdf from their site

Plant selling websites sell more than real shops. These are the ones I've used - I have shrimps and snails so I need plants which are not treated with snail killers.


though I admit that I've not used the last website as I live near the actual shop so I go there in person.
 

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